2 January 2013

Kenya: MPs to Debate Kibaki's Send-Off Package Today

Parliament's debated over two Bills seeking to increase the retirement perks for President Mwai Kibaki, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Prime Minister ... ( Resource: Heated Debate Over Kenyan President's Package

Members of Parliament will today revisit debate on a bill on President Mwai Kibaki's Sh 25 million retirment package. The law makers will be debating the Presidential Retirement Benefits (Amendment) Bill 2012 and possibly pass it.

If passed, Kibaki will be paid a monthly pension of Sh1 million for the rest of his life on top of the 25 million he will get as sendoff package.

Kibaki can, however refuse to sign the bill into law even if MPs pass it. The law currently provides that the President can only be paid a lump-sum of Sh17 million as send off payment.

Economic analysts have however warned that Kibaki will "paint" himself as "a greedy leader" if the MPs pass the bill and he signs it into law.

"If he signs the bill into law, he will be telling the whole world that he is a greedy and a leader who can push his own interest," said Daniel Chepkwony, an Economic analyst.

He said the economic recovery Kibaki has made during his ten-year rule is likely to slow down as money will have to be diverted to cater for pensions of retired State Officers.

Finance Minister Njeru Githae told parliament last week that the government has been forced to adjust the amount paid to a retired president due to inflation.

MPs are also today expected to debate a separate bill that seeks to grant huge send off packages for the Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka and the Speaker Kenneth Marende.

Other state officers expected to benefit from the proposed retirement benefits package are are Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, his deputy, Attorney- General Githu Muigai and the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces Julius Karangi.

Kenyans yesterday continued to voice their opposition to the increased retirement packages saying they were insensitive to the wishes of the majority.

Secretary General of Kenya National Nurses Seth Panyako said Parliament will be exercising "discrimination of the highest order" against other Kenyans in case it passes the two bills.

"We are all servants to the people of Kenya, the law should apply equally on all of us not to favour the powerful in the society," Panyako said.

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